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    • Rather rightfully so. Our recruitment season is almost over here and we will have to go back to everyone and say sorry, but we'll need some extra fees this year.
    • I would add that for a training hike, you want them to be hauling gear like they would be for the later, more difficult hikes. A light pack sounds good, but if you aren't used to the weight you're going to be carrying later, it might be a surprise. Also the 5 mile hike should be as if you've got the full set of gear. Nothing helps shed pounds like realizing you don't need everything you thought you needed. 
    • The thing about pen-knives and other tools, if you are planning to visit a court house, police barracks, or town hall, you might be slowed down at metal detectors. You really do want to see if you can schedule a visit with some public officials. That adds a lot of value to town hikes. But, that also means keeping a small notebook and pencil (or pen, since I guess Texans don't usually have to worry about ink freezing), as the scout might want to record some observations. Sure, phones can do that, until the battery drains. Oh, and bring extra patches. You might want to give them to someone as a gift for a pleasant conversation or courtesy to the scouts. And a spare neckerchief. All the cool kids are wearing them! The really cool kids have one to give away on a moments' notice. Don't be dismissive about matches or lighters, sometimes strangers might need help lighting their cigar!
    • Don't know. But a retired Pro told me that national let go 38 people from the national office last month. Regarding the increase in registration and last minute notice,  from the phone conversation I had earlier today, a lot of council pros are ticked off and are bugging the heck out of national about it. The tone I got is that it has ticked a lot of folks council execs off because they have already started their recruiting, and now are informed of a registration increase, when folks already paid for 2020 with their roundup fee. 
    • When I read the list at first, I was "totally makes sense".  I would still pack a pocket knife and three feet of 4mm cord.  Just in case...... The "just in case" got me thinking.....Be Prepared........and the 10 Essentials..... and why are they essentials? Is it just THIS hike you are training them for, or are you preparing them for ANY hike they may take?  Would make for an excellent discussion for PLC: Why are the 10 essentials called Essential? Are there any scenarios where you may need something on the list even in an urban hike? (like first aid to bicyclist who crashed). Could we use both modern tools (GPS) and old ones (Compass) to practice our skills? Do modern tools ever fail or worse run out of batteries?   Just thoughts from an old guy......;
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